1. You can say no to a guy.
Even if he just asked for your number, even if he's nice to you and gives or buys you things, you have the right to say you're not interested, and you CAN do it under pressure—you just have to be strong enough to do it. (The guy, if he's stubborn or determined, can still insist, though.) Point is, you're free to choose whom you want to entertain; don't let anyone make you think otherwise. Also, you don't have to go for someone out of pity; that's sad and insulting. A person deserves to be with someone who likes him enough to love him.
2. Communicate openly and avoid being passive aggressive.
When you're passive aggressive, you're playing mind games with your guy where he's already set to lose because he doesn't even know you're playing and what you want from him. Your guy isn't a mind reader. Even if you've given him hints through the tone of your voice or body language, all he'll get is that you're upset/mad/sad. He won't know why unless you spell it out for him, and until then, he won't be able to work things out with you. For the sake of being in good terms already and no longer feeling frustrated, speak.
3. You have to be secure and happy with yourself.
This also goes outside of dating. When it comes to relationships or wanting to be in one, there's going to be some pressure on you to look and behave a certain way. You might feel like you have to live up to a standard or to beat it, and it'll drive you CRAZY, to say the least. So be sure to work on being secure. Surround yourself with positivity, be happy with yourself, love yourself. It's easier said than done, but really, only you can do it for yourself, and only you'll know how to make yourself feel like you're the best.
4. Don't stalk the ex.
In relation to #3, this'll help you a lot. You don't have to be curious about everything, especially when your own happiness, even mental health, is at stake.
5. Your looks aren't everything.
This should be a no-brainer. We've been taught this in Disney movies or fairy tales when we were kids. Still, life has a way of getting the better of us and making us think our appearances are everything, the defining factor of winning a guy, or keeping him for good. It's not. It matters, but it's not everything. If a guy is shallow (or a fool) to make decisions solely based on someone's looks, you're probably better off without him.
6. Trust your guy.
Fact: The possibility of your guy cheating on you will NEVER go away. It can happen, but it doesn't mean it will. Don't get caught up in seeing if he's faithful to you or not, especially if he's not doing anything dubious. Trust him and enjoy the relationship. If he does anything that bothers you, let him know. If he's a jerk about it, well.
7. Don't let a guy treat you badly.
Some people stay in a toxic or abusive relationship hoping that the guy would change for the better one day. Sounds positive. But what are the chances though that that day will come tomorrow? Or that he won't treat you badly ever again? And does he treat you badly intentionally? If he hurts you intentionally, whether he's sober or drunk, you shouldn't be with him. Care about yourself as a person. It's called having self-respect.
8. Remember that guys have feelings too.
So let's say there's a guy asking you out, and you just don't want to give him a chance (maybe 'cos you're taken or you really just want him to be your friend). We've said in #1 that you can say no, and that still applies here. Just do it politely; there's a polite "no." Let him down gently, and don't even try embarrassing him for whatever evil reason or whim you may have.
Take note too that guys, as human beings, want to be loved and desired. It's not just you who wants the loving and the sweet gestures, so go on and be affectionate. Quit the mind games or thinking that he has to message you first all the time.
9. Honesty is still the best policy, but you don't have to tell your guy everything.
Unless that's what he wants and you both agreed on it, then go ahead and spill everything. Otherwise, keep some things to yourself. Like things you and your ex did and where you guys went on dates. Or your password. Or that you've stalked him on Facebook the day you guys met. Some things just don't need to be known.
10. You don't have to do everything with your guy.
You have your hobby and he has his. It's great if you guys like to do the same things and can do them together, but it's also great to have your alone time for your passion projects, for pampering yourself at home, or making surprises for him. We need to feel and be independent in certain aspects of our lives. It's how we really grow.
11. Breakups are for the best.
It might be hard to believe when you're miserable from the breakup, but it really is the best for you and your partner. If you were in an abusive relationship, then you're finally free from all the pains and sorrows it could've brought you. If you were in a pretty good one and the breakup was unprecedented and a total shock, you know you're better off with someone who would want to be with you in spite of your imperfections and shortcomings. (If you're still weeping about your loss and this part doesn't really help you, here's a comforting pat: *pat*)
12. Relationships entail work.
Okay, maybe some relationships were matches made in heaven. But that's just probably 1 percent of the entire human population. Not everybody can just leave everything to fate for a relationship to happen, and not everybody should sit back and wait for the relationship to get better.
Love involves making things work with you and your partner. It's the only way to strengthen your bond and grow together, and know for sure if you're with the one you'd want to be with for the long haul. As in with the things you want in life, you have to work. If you found a guy you think is perfect for you, aka The One or Mr. Right, make sure he'll be that person for good. Love him.
Follow Stephanie on Twitter.